HCMC health department proposes drug sale ban on social media

By My Y   January 13, 2024 | 08:11 pm PT
HCMC health department proposes drug sale ban on social media
A worker at HCMC's Cho Ray Hospital checks a batch of drugs, July 13, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The HCMC health department has asked pharmaceutical businesses not to sell products over social media platforms or livestreams.

Facilities with business approvals may sell products through e-commerce, websites, applications installed on devices at the facilities, and approved digital transaction platforms.

However, sales on social media and livestreams would not be allowed, Nguyen Hai Nam, deputy office head of the HCMC Department of Health, said at a Thursday press meet.

Drugs and other supplementary food products are commonly sold on social media platforms and livestreams. Pharmacies can create livestreams on social media with hundreds of viewers, allowing the sale of thousands of products. However, current laws have not had specific regulations regarding such a type of sale.

Nam said there needs to be more regulations regarding e-commerce in the pharmaceutical field. There needs to be tight management and clear regulations to ensure the quality of pharmaceutical products, and to make sure their origins are easy to be found. Selling drugs through social media and livestreams do not satisfy such requirements, he said.

"Today, online drug sales are not yet recognized by law, and as such, selling drugs over livestreams is a violation of the law," Nam said.

The health department has also been monitoring advertisements and drug sales on digital channels, and has deployed online medical applications and hotlines for people to report on the sales of drugs without clear origins.

The proposal to ban drug sales on social media and livestreams has been brought forth by the Ministry of Health in the amendments of the Law on Pharmacy. The draft law is being evaluated by the Ministry of Justice.

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